How Can We Protect The Health Of Our Aging Parents?
We want our parents to be happy, healthy, and secure. As they get older, we grow more cognizant of vulnerabilities that are becoming increasingly prevalent. However, we don’t have to let them be completely exposed to those risks. Here are a few ways we can protect their health and help them live longer, happier lives.
Managing healthier habits as a team
If you are a frequent part of your parents’ lifestyle, whether you live with them or simply visit them often, then maintaining and encouraging them to join you in healthy habits can help reduce their chances of chronic illness and maintain their independence longer. By far the best habits to maintain for their health is finding healthy balanced meals together and finding opportunities for what exercise they are able to do, whether that’s a walk outside or something more demanding.
Help with their healthcare
As we grow older, our likelihood of having a chronic condition increases, so it may already be the case your parent has healthcare issues they could use some help taking care of already. You can help them manage their illness or condition by helping them schedule and attend their medical appointments, tracking their medication use and providing reminders, and assisting with what lifestyle changes they may need to treat their condition.
Knowing when they need help
As our parents grow, their ability to live independently may diminish over time. If that’s the case, it may be worth looking for the signs that they may need assisted living. If they’re no longer able to reliably meet their daily needs, such as feeding themselves, cleaning, and getting around, it may be time to talk about the possibility of finding them adequate care.
Keep an eye out for the signs of abuse
No matter who is taking care of them, if your loved one is under full time care, be it at home or in a care facility, the risk of abuse should always be at least partially of concern. Looking for signs of abuse such as nursing home bed sores, frequent bruises, cuts, or broken bones, weight loss, poor hygiene, and declining mental health is essential. They may be under threat from those they rely on for care and may need your help.
Help create a safer home
While not the case for every older person, some are going to lose aspects of their physical independence over time, which may make them more prone to accidents such as slips and falls, or they may simply not be able to do the same tasks in the home as they once could. Looking at their home and making it more accessible with the right additions and amendments can help make it safer to use. This might include a stairlift, bathroom assistance rails, and more.
No one person can protect another from every kind of accident, illness, or other risk. However, by raising the conversation of health and safety, and involving them actively, we can all become more aware of the most common threats out there and potential steps we can take to address them.